Ministroke vs. regular stroke: What's the difference?

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Ministroke vs. regular stroke: What's the difference?

Question

How is a "ministroke" different from a regular stroke?

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Answer

When people use the term "ministroke," what they're really referring to is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) — a temporary interruption of blood flow to part of the brain. The symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke, but a TIA doesn't destroy brain cells or cause permanent disability. However, TIAs may recur and each TIA increases the risk of a subsequent stroke.

If you suspect that you've had a TIA, seek immediate medical attention. You may need various diagnostic tests — such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computerized tomography (CT) scan — to help determine what caused the TIA. Depending on the underlying cause, you may need medication to prevent blood clots or a procedure to remove fatty deposits from the arteries that supply blood to your brain.

Last Updated: 2010-09-28
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